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Le vocabulaire de la négociation en anglais


La négociation est une tâche à laquelle on risque d’être souvent confronté dans sa vie professionnelle. Face à des interlocuteurs anglophones, il est nécessaire d’apprendre à négocier en anglais pour se garantir une clientèle dans cette langue.

Quand on négocie avec des gens d’une culture différente de la nôtre il  est important de garder en tête que des incompréhensions culturelles peuvent apparaitre. Plusieurs expressions résument bien l’attitude des anglophones face à la négociation « business is business », « time is money », « it’s not personal ».

Par exemple pour les anglophones, le « eye contact » est très important dans une négociation. A défaut, ils pourraient penser que vous avez quelque chose à cacher ou que vous êtes en train de mentir. Souvent une négociation se termine par une poignée de main. Cela signifie que la négociation a abouti et que l’on est parvenu à un accord.

Pour réussir une négociation il est important de respecter votre interlocuteur. Cela implique biensur de connaitre les formules de politesse anglaises.


Lors d’une négociation en anglais, quelques mots de vocabulaire et quelques expressions sont très utiles à connaitre. En voici une liste exhaustive.

  • Negotiate (to)

Definition : to hold talks for the purpose of reaching a commercial agreement.
Translation : Négocier

  • Back down (to)

Definition : to withdraw from a position, to not follow up on a threat.
Translation : Reculer, se rétracter

  • Go back to the drawing board (to)

Definition : to go back and start something from the beginning.
Translation : Repartir de zéro

  • Close a deal (to)

Definition : to successfully end a negotiation.
Translation : Conclure un accord

  • Drive a hard bargain (to)

Definition : to negotiate to one’s advantage.
Translation : Etre dur en affaires

  • Iron something out (to)

Definition : to solve a problem, to resolve an issue.
Translation : Résoudre un problème

  • Beat around the bush (to)

Definition : to talk about things without giving a direct answer.
Translation : Tourner autour du pot

  • Bring up (to)

Definition : to begin a discussion about something.
Translation : Lancer une discussion, un sujet

  • Drag on (to)

Definition : to prolonge, to make longer.
Translation : Faire durer, faire traîner

  • At stake

Definition : something that can be lost or gained.
Translation : Enjeu

  • Cut to the chase (to)

Definition : to get straight to the point, to go directly to the important points.
Translation : Aller droit au but

  • Compromise (to)

Definition : to resolve by making concessions.
Translation : Transiger

  • Grant a special discount (to)

Definition : to make a better offer, to give an additional discount.
Translation : Faire un geste commercial

  • It’s a bargain

Definition : it is financially advantageous.
Translation : C’est une bonne affaire

  • It’s a steal

Definition : the price is much lower than market value.
Translation : C’est bradé

  • Haggle (to)

Definition : to argue in order to reach a better arrangement or deal (negative connotation).
Translation : Marchander

  • Final offer

Definition : the last proposal that will be put forward.
Translation : Dernière proposition

  • Take it or leave it

Definition : to either accept the proposition or to refuse it ; no further discussion is possible.
Translation : A prendre ou à laisser

  • Wrap up (to)

Definition : to finish, to end.
Translation : Terminer, conclure

  • Make a deal (to)

Definition : to make a business arrangement.
Translation : Conclure une affaire

  • Estimate

Definition : a statement giving the likely cost of something, document appraising the value of something.
Translation : Devis

  • A bid

Definition : the amount offered or proposed, a statement of what one will give for something, an offer of a price.
Translation : Une offre

  • Follow up (to)

Definition : to pursue or maintain contact so as to monitor or take further action.
Translation : Garder le contact (avec quelqu’un), suivre une affaire

  • Read the fine print (to)

Definition : to read the details of a contract (often the text in small font gives important details, disclaimers and legal terms).
Translation : Regarder de près, dans le détail

  • Lay the cards on the table (to)

Definition : to tell each other exactly what is going on, to show your hand, to be frank.
Translation : Jouer cartes sur table

  • Work out a deal (to)

Definition : to reach an agreement.
Translation : Négocier un arrangement

  • Sales pitch

Definition : a speech in which a salesperson promotes his product.
Translation : Discours commercial

  • Selling point

Definition : a particular aspect that is emphasized in order to sell something.
Translation : Argument de vente

  • Stalemate

Definition : when two or more parties cannot agree and the negotiation is stopped, impasse, deadlock.
Translation : Blocage

  • Give and take

Definition : a situation where both sides must compromise, but are equally satisfied with the result.
Translation : Donnant-donnant

  • Chase a customer (to)

Definition : to contact a future customer again.
Translation : Relancer

  • Market price

Definition : the price that a product brings when sold on the market, prevailing price.
Translation : Prix de marché

  • Terms of payment

Definition : conditions as to when and how goods or services supplied will be paid.
Translation : Conditions de paiement


A présent, un exercice pour vous entrainer à négocier en anglais. Complétez les phrases avec les mots suivants et vérifiez votre réponse en bas de page.

cut to the chase, beat around the bush, to compromise, closed a deal, read the fine print, drives a hard bargain, a bargain, wrapped up, brought up, to back down, to iron out, made a deal, went back to the drawing board, to grant you a special discount, to haggle, final offer, dragged on, followed up, negotiated, at stake.

1. We were unable to convince the clients, so we ............ and came up with a new offer that should convince them.

2. The salesperson ............ for thirty minutes before he finally announced the actual price.

3. Last week we ............ for over thirty thousand euros.

4. Jack is known throughout the sector as someone who ............., as he rarely concedes in negotiations.

5. Stephanie ............ a new deal with our current suppliers giving us quicker delivery time and a minor price reduction.

6. Fabrice had........... on three key points in the contract, otherwise he would have lost the deal to our competition.

7. We had agreed on the main ideas, however there were still two or three minor details we needed ...........

8. We have ........... on this point, so that both parties will be happy with the deal.

9. After three months of discussion we finally ........... with the client who will buy twenty-four units.

10. Since our company has been working with you for several years, I have authorized our sales department ............

SOLUTIONS : 1 : went back to the drawing board. 2 : beat around the bush. 3 : closed a deal. 4 : drives a hard bargain. 5 : negotiated. 6 : to back down. 7 : to iron out. 8 : to compromise. 9 : made a deal. 10 : to grant you a special discount. 

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